Cheap. Healthy. Easy. Yummy.
I don’t know about you, but any food that fits all four of those categories is a winner for me! Thankfully, there are several foods that qualify. The closer you stay to “real food” the more choices you’ll find that are all of the above. One of my favorites is refried beans. They’re tasty, make a great supplement to many dishes, they’re healthy, and so easy to make and freeze. Anyone up for making some homemade refried beans?
Great, let’s begin by cooking some beans. Pinto, to be exact. (I forgot to get pictures of preparing and cooking the beans, so you’ll have to use your imagination until I make them again and hopefully remember to get pics!)
It’s not an exact science–at least not for me– here’s a basic synopsis of my last bean-making experience.
First, because the planets aligned correctly the night before, and I actually thought to do this, I soaked my beans overnight. I simply put 3 cups of dry Pinto beans into my crock pot and added about twice as much water. I put the cover on and let them sit all night.
In the morning I drained and rinsed them and put them back in the pot, covering with fresh water (enough to cover the beans by an inch or two) and turned it on high. Then we went to Chick-fil-A to play at the play place. (Other days I might just cook them on low all day, but we were in need of lunch so I hurried them along.)
When we got home I added some salt-about 1-2 tsp, and about 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder. Then I cleaned my house. But I don’t want to make you think about house work right now. Let’s get back to the beans.
When everyone was hungry, I drained off a lot of the water but not all of it. Just what I could get by dipping a measuring cup into the crock pot but not draining them. I put them into the food processor and out came refried beans. (Though I never did actually fry or refry them, I’m not sure what that really means.)
I’m not sure how many cups this is but it would be equal to several cans of refried beans. I think I have about $1.00 worth of beans here. (And did I mention I know what’s in them?)
When I figured out where all my jars have gone lately, I put the rest of the beans into these little jars and then into the freezer. I think I ended up with 5 or 6 of these jars plus what we ate fresh the day I made them.
You can use them in all kinds of things; like burritos, enchiladas, alone as a side dish, just whatever you can think of. We use them most often for bean and cheese quesadillas. It’s super easy, I hope you’ll give it a try. Lunch will be even easier next time– assuming I remember to take a jar out of the freezer before 12:00!